12 February 2011:
Tony and I dined at Wild Tomato, a new restaurant (7945 MacArthur Blvd, Cabin John) in Maryland along with friends Bruce and Marcia.
It's a small restaurant that seats about 45 people. Reservations are not accepted, so we waited about 45 minutes. There is a small bar at the back of the room, which was filled with customers waiting for their tables. In fact, the entry way was crowded with customers with no room to stand comfortably.
It took a while for our waitress to take our order, as there were only three waiters taking care of this packed restaurant, one being the hostess.
Tony and I started with the Thai mussels, which were tasty. The mussels were plump and tender. The broth was rich and I enjoyed the flavors of lemongrass and Thai basil. Included were a few slices of crusty bread for dipping into the broth.
Bruce and Marcia ordered the fried clams. I had a taste and thought they were the best I've ever had. The clams were not over cooked, so they didn't have a rubbery or tough texture. Both Tony and I thought the quantity of the appetizers were very small for the prices they charged ($12 for the mussels and $11 for the clams).
For my entree, I ordered fish tacos, which were highly recommended and I agree, they were excellent. The white fish was lightly battered and served in soft tortillas with guacamole, shredded cabbage and carrots, and a chili mayonnaise. The tacos were served with a side of fresh-made salsa and chips. I was stuffed by the time I finished my meal, although I did have some help. I will say my food was cold, but I'll come back to this later.
Tony had a burger with a side of fried onion rings. He asked for it medium-rare and was pleasantly surprised it was cooked to order. The onion rings were thinly sliced and lightly battered and were not greasy at all.
Bruce had the pizza with three types of meats, which he enjoyed.
Marcia ordered the 1/2 chicken, also good, but wow, it must have been a 1/2 chick.
Okay, so the food was good, but here are the negative points of this place and why I say it's "Just another Bistro."
1. Expensive appetizers for the portions you get.
2. Wine list. Ridiculous! $8 for a 3.5 to 4 ounce glass for a house Pinot Grigio. The prices of bottles of wine started at $34 and went too far up in my mind for a bistro.
3. Very long wait to get a table.
4. A very long wait to get our food. The waitress had told us, "I'm sorry it's taking so long but we had a huge take-out order." What!?? Shouldn't a restaurant take care of their in-house customers first? And if not, shouldn't she have kept her mouth shut? It made us feel as if we were the last on their mind.
5. My tacos were cold.
6. Tony's hamburger and onion rings were cold as well.
7. As a beer snob (Tony), their beer list is sorely lacking.
Overall, it wasn't worth the wait for just another bistro.